Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bollywood romanticizes certain ethnicities

have you noticed that the two ethnicities that are romanticized in Bollywood are Punjabis and (to a lesser degree) Bengalis? (There are tons of characters with last names like Malhotra and then, of course, there's the Devdas type of film, glorifying Bong culture) I guess this is not big news, but still... i guess if one were to look at those involved in the films, these two groups would be more highly represented, and thus the result is that they over-romanticize their own groups...

but it's annoying. especially when we gujaratis are relegated to the questionable glory of such songs as "G-U-J-J-U!" (in the film Kal Ho Na Ho), South Indians are relegated to slapstick humor, and most other ethnic groups are just plain ignored. It's quite ironic, considering that quite a few actors and actresses hail from various parts of India not well represented in Bollywood... For example, Dimple Kapadia is Gujarati, Aishwarya Rai is from Mangalore, Rekha is Tamilian and John Abraham is half Malayali and half Parsi.

it would be a refreshing change to see other Desi ethnicities represented in a positive light in Bollywood.

4 comments:

Rina said...

Yay! You're blog is back! I'm so happy that you've started posting again....Oh, and far as ethnicities, try being a mix -- i.e, Gujarati and Muslim. The Haidrabadies have all those romantic movies from the 70s, but no one's made a romantic bollywood flick about farmer Muslims outside Surat.

why said...

Hey Rina-ji,
would you believe that I *JUST* found this comment you posted a million years ago?

Sorry for the lack of response, but blogger wasn't notifying me till now about a ton of comments from the last year...

And all this time I thought my readers to be either silent or nonexistent!

:)

PS If I ever make a film I'll try to make one about farmer Muslims outside Surat. Sounds like a fascinating group, to my folklore-focused brain!

Anjali said...

Paheli took place in Rajastan. It was the first time I ever heard Hindi spoken with the same accent as my parents in the movies. I had no idea that it was supposed to be specifically a Rajastani accent before that. I thought my family just talked funny. How nice representation is, so that your children, even in America, don't feel alienated.

CK said...

the TV though seems to romanticize gujarati families - hail to "ek mahal ho sapno ka" for starting the whole thing. never stopped since. :)